WRAL TV

Familiar Faces Return For WRAL Newscast

Posted November 20, 2006

— WRAL featured a blast from the past Friday evening., when former anchors Charlie Gaddy and Bobbie Battista and weatherman Bob DeBardelaben returned to host a special reunion newscast.

The 6 p.m. reunion newscast was part of WRAL's yearlong 50th anniversary celebration, which culminates in December. Longtime WRAL sports anchor Tom Suiter joined them for the newscast.

Gaddy, Battista and DeBardelaben also served as grand marshals of the WRAL-TV Raleigh Christmas Parade, Saturday.

"I'm personally thrilled about this reunion because, having worked with Charlie, Bobbie and Bob several decades ago, it will be a special treat to see them back on WRAL-TV, even if it's just for one night," station Vice President and General Manager Jim Hefner said prior to Friday's newscast.


Gaddy and Battista formed the Triangle's first male-female anchor team and, along with weathercaster DeBardelaben, led WRAL to ratings dominance in the early 1980s.

"It was my honor to sit on the set with people I consider to be the best in the business," Gaddy said.

Gaddy retired from WRAL in 1994, following an award-winning, 24-year career that saw him report stories ranging from hurricanes and elections to the fun and games of the North Carolina State Fair. Recently, he has hosted a series of "WRAL Listens" outreach programs in various North Carolina counties.

Battista spent seven years at WRAL, leaving in 1981 to become one of the original newscasters at CNN in Atlanta. She became one of the network's most recognizable anchors before leaving in 2001 to found Atamira Communications, a communications strategy firm for corporate clients.

"I can’t think of anything I would rather do to mark WRAL's 50th anniversary than to come back home and share the anchor desk with three people I love and respect. I'm thrilled Channel 5 has asked me to do this," she said.

DeBardelaben became known as "The Biggest Name in Weather" during a WRAL career that spanned three decades. He gained early popularity hosting "Dialing for Dollars" call-in programs before moving into his role as the station's full-time weather anchor. He retired in 1989.
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